How do you get your child, who has been well taught not to speak to strangers, to sit on Santa’s knee?
This is the year that Nikki has understood the wonder and magic that is Santa Clause. She has emailed her wish list, viewed a reply video where Santa is speaking with her directly and sent a follow up email to remind him to drop the gifts at Grandma’s instead of our house.
In case you are thinking that she is only being exposed to the vastly commercial side that is the secular Christmas celebration, she is also coming with us to deliver hampers for the Salvation Army a few days before the BIG day. We’re hoping that this will get her to see some of the joy we have in giving.
But ultimately, it’s about the Big Guy, right?
Other than television, her first real view was at the mall the other day. I so desparately didn’t want to stand in that long line to see him because I was 95% sure that she would flip out and refuse to even go near him. We went to the side of the Christmas display area, where there was a wonderful view of Santa and his winter wonderland and then it happened. It was straight out of Miracle on 34th Street when Richard Attenborough looks up at Mara Wilson in the window, as if he knows she is there (which he did… he is Santa, after all!) As Nikki stood rooted to the spot watching him, this mall Santa looked over at her and smiled and waved. Her eyes widened and she waved back!
“He saw me!” she exclaimed! “Santa saw me!”
She was over the moon.
The next night, we visited Lang Pioneer Village for their Christmas by Candlelight event. What a beautiful night! A horse drawn wagon ride, hot apple cider, Christmas carollers strolling the village and… yes… the Big Guy.
At first, she wanted nothing to do with him but just when we were getting ready to leave the village, we went back in to the room where he was greeting kids and it was fate. The seas parted, so to speak, and a perfectly clear path was left for Nikki to go to his waiting arms. And go she did! She ran up and jumped up on his lap and whispered what she wanted. I got in a picture before she gave him a big hug, jumped off and said a precious thank you for the candy cane she received.
As we were leaving, she whispered: “I hugged Santa, Mommy!”
And Mommy? Mommy was almost in tears. It was the kind of experience I had hoped she would have and the fates allowed it.
So thank you, Santa.